May 18, 2020
We read with interest the proposal from Supervisor Nathan Fletcher to revive the Human Relations Commission, and to name it after the late Civic Leader Leon L. Williams. Leon Williams was the first African American elected to the San Diego City Council (in 1969) and unfortunately still the only African American ever elected as a County Supervisor (in 1982.)
Such a commission is needed now more than ever. Mr. Williams once said that everybody wants to do as much as they can for everybody–that won’t occur in this new commission without dedicated staff and resources.
Beyond the issue of resources, the effectiveness of the commission will be determined by the members appointed to it and how well they represent County residents as a whole. The lack of inclusion of Asian Pacific Islanders in today’s proposal calls into question whether this commission will truly be representative.
The NAACP San Diego branch calls on the Supervisors to place this on hold and get true community engagement from the entire County of San Diego.
Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch